Sania Mirza and Kristen Flipkens of Belgium are off to a terrific start at the Indian Wells Masters in California, USA. In the first round of the event, the duo defeated Shuko Aoyama and Aleksandra Krunic 6-3, 3-2, 10-7; the Indo-Belgian team will now face Gabriela Dabrowski and Giuliana Olmos.
Sania, who revealed her retirement plans at the Australian Open earlier this season, is participating in her final Indian Wells event.
Sania, who recently competed in the Dubai Tennis Championships and the Qatar Open with her Czech partner Lucie Hradecks, has been in excellent shape. Her performance showed in her WTA rankings, with the 6-time Grand Slam champion returning to the Top 50 for the first time since becoming a mother in the WTA doubles rankings.
The next match between Sania and Flipkens will take place on March 13 at Indian Wells.
At the Qatar Open, she had managed to reach the semis, along with her partner Lucie Hradecka, and lost only to Belgian pair of Elise Mertens and Veronika Kudermetova 6-0, 6-3.
Prior to that, playing with the same partner, she had made it to the semis of the Dubai Tennis Championship as well, where the team lost to Jelena Ostapenko and Lyudmyla Kichenok.